This is my first post and I would like to say this forum is awesome! I've spent the last few days reading an abundance of material on this forum and have learned so much more than I thought I already knew about pools. To give you a little background, I manage (or try to the best of my ability) my Grandmother's pool. It was my Grandpa's baby up until about 4 years ago when he passed. I took care of it for two seasons and had a never ending battle with algae both seasons and went through a lot of liquid chlorine. Gma decided to keep the pool closed two years ago and here we are today taking care of it. She had your average tarp like cover on it and battled keeping water off of it and keeping it clear of leaves. This has gotten to be too big of a struggle for a woman in her late 70's and now I have convinced her to install a hard safety cover on it which I am so happy she agreed to.
Anyways, to get to my point... . The water level in the pool dropped too low and the cover split and we lost a lot of debris in the pool. I hurried over and a friend and I got the remainder of the cover off the pool and got it cut up and in the trash. The pool water was very dirty, with lots of leaves/other debris in the water. I convinced gma the best plan of action is to get the water cleaned up and to get the safety cover on. We worked on the pool all weekend!!
I spent most of last week studying TFP and pool school, as well as the sticky in this section, which was so excellently written. I realized that one of the key ingredients I was missing in my two seasons of running the pool was CYA.. Somehow I was totally unaware of the absolute necessity of that chemical. That being said, I did use 3'' tabs which should have been adding CYA but it is possible I used too much (I was unaware at the time that they added CYA and that too much could make the chlorine in-effective).
All that being said, I spent this weekend raking/vacuuming to waste all of the leaves/debris out of the pool. We brought the water level up and all of the equipment is up and running. At the end of the day Saturday I added about 11 Pounds of granular CYA (as according to the pool calculator) into 4 socks and tied them to 2 telescoping poles and dangled them in front of our two returns. I opted to place them in front of the returns instead of in the skimmer; 1- Four socks loaded with 11 pounds of CYA would have been too much for the skimmer(I felt) and 2- I wanted the CYA to dissolve faster. The CYA in front of the more powerful return dissolved in 24hrs. I expect the remainder to be dissolved by the end of today. I also added some dry acid (mixed into bucket to dissolve first) to lower my PH to a more acceptable level from 8.0. I ordered the Taylor 2006 test kit and it should be in by the end of this week and I will then test my CYA level. Having learned that the CYA test is somewhat unreliable with heavy algae(which is what we have now that the cover is off) I will try to filter the water sample through a coffee filter as suggested by Jason I think. Towards the end of the week I'm planning to pick up 45 gallons of liquid chlorine to SLAM the pool and be sure that I have enough on hand to keep the FC level at shock level for as long as necessary. While SLAMming I plan to brush the pool at least once a day and be sure to break the algae off any place it could be hiding. The ladder is not in the pool so that is one thing I will not have to worry about it holding onto.
I think I covered all of my plans thus far... I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help out fellow pool managers like myself who need advice. I plan to try and keep this thread updated as I go along making progress. Will try to get some pictures up as well. Hoping to start the SLAM process Friday.